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Preparing for a Homeschool Convention

  _2.IMG_20160423_111214Photo Credit:Lynne Bellaire Essentials in Writing 


Our local homeschool convention has already passed, but I know many of you are still waiting your turn, and have one coming up soon. I put this little plan together for an OINK homeschool mom's night out, and figured you all might appreciate it as well. 

Be Prepared.
Save Money.
Be Encouraged.



Pre Register:

- Check for your online registration deadlines. 

Prices may vary for Family & Individuals
Don't want to hear anyone speak?  Some conventions like the Great Homeschool Conventions group allow you to shop for free on Thursday, or get
a shopping pass.

Be sure to check whether your homeschool convention has negotiated parking deals with the local garages. Different garages often offer different prices. Some could require a voucher. Plan ahead for OVERSIZED Vehicles:
6'10" clearence on most garages, 15 passenger vans should call to make
a reservation in some states. 

Name & Address Labels:
Signing up for giveaways, newsletters or mailing lists? Print some
address labels with your information, so you can easily stick and go.

Take Notes:
Bring an iPad if you like to type your notes. A notebook, or clipboard
and paper. Whatever your favorite method of taking notes, you'll want
to bring something you so can write down those encouraging tips, and
homeschooling secrets.

Speakers & Special Guests:
Make a copy of the convention speakers (from the website), and sit
down with your highlighter and highlight anything that sounds
interesting to you. Next, narrow down your choices based on time
slots. Put a star next to the speaker you really want to see.
If you're like me, you'll make a note "do not miss" if you really need
to hear what this speaker has to say. Keep in mind, if you can't get
to them all, there will be CDs to purchase from most of the speakers,
but this can add up quick!

Photo Credit: Lynne Bellaire of Essentials in Writing. 
What's your budget?
Have you sat down to really look at how much you spend on curriculum
every year? Sit down, make a list of your needs, wants and
just-want-to-look-at products. Keep impulse spending down, by knowing
your budget.

Make a list of things you really need.
Most of the time you can save on shipping if you purchase the
curriculum at the convention. Research the best price online (Amazon)
that you can pay for an item, and if you're a Prime Member, save your
back if the cost is the same, and just have it shipped to your house.

A Rolling Cart!
Don't be one of those people (ahem, like me) who ends up buying a
rolling cart every time at the convention. If you plan on buying
books, they get heavy very fast. (Skip the backpack, I did that my
first year, and think I'm still paying the price at the Chiropractor).
Other ideas are a suitcase on wheels!

Water & Snacks 

Some  conventions sell food, but it is crazy expensive. I always pack a
water bottle and some snacks in my purse. You can pack a lunch, and
leave it in your car. If the weather is nice, you can eat outside on
the stairs, or go back to your car and give your feet a rest!

The convention can seem very overwhelming. Especially if this is your
first time attending. Take a deep breath and realize that we are all
there for the same reason, to better the lives of our children through
home education.

This may look very different from home to home, but don't be afraid to
step out of your comfort zone and talk with someone new.
You'll find a mix of speakers there, some who are just pushing
products, and some who really want to reach your children with their
style of curriculum. Don't be afraid to walk out of a session, and hit
plan B. Your time is just as valuable as theirs is, and if something
isn't jiving with you, then feel free to move on.

Teach Me: How to get your teen excited about science.

Ah, so you've reached the high school years. I'm in the same boat, but I'm finding  the more I think about it, the less anxiety I'm having over it. Really, the high school years shouldn't be gloom and doom, and all seriousness. In fact, learning shouldn't just stop being fun because you get older. My approach to high school has been find his passions, and try as much as possible to make learning enjoyable.

For my oldest, he decided that he wanted to take chemistry his freshman year. Not having the math he would need to take the class, he decided that he wanted to do it so much, that he was going to learn the math right along side of it. We explained that this was going to be tough, and require a little more effort on his part. So with that, he buckled down and took his first year of chemistry alongside the algebra he needed, and passed with an A. Thankfully his dad is a math whiz, and could fill in to help when he had questions. He loved every minute of it. He was engaged, and passionate about the subject. He taught me so many things about the world around us, that I've never even heard of. It was exciting as a parent to see him taking school seriously, but enjoying it at the same time.

I'm finding that if I meet enthusiasm with excitement, they're generally willing to dig their heels in deeper and put forth way more effort into learning, than if I were to make him take a particular class. What we've done is compiled a list of the needed credits for high school, and gave him choices. When he's the responsible one for making those choices, (not including math and English), he seems to put forth so much more effort.

So how does my experience relate to getting your teen excited about science?  What do they say of people who do their jobs every day and they love it? Oh yeah, they love it! There are so many branches of science that you can explore,all you have to do is find that person, meet them face to face, or online and let them tell you about why they love their jobs. Excitement, and happiness can be contagious. Take Mayim Bialik for instance.




or How about Alan Sage a Vegetarian Scientist 



How about Larrr Rosenblum, professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of California Riverside.



 There are hundreds of videos, books, blogs and articles to share with your teen, perhaps just a nudge in the right direction will give them a starting point to get really excited about science this year.  

More Ideas:

15 YouTube Channels of Fun Science for Kids

10 Movies for kids about real scientists


Here are the hobbies of 5 of 10 physicists featured in the Perimeter Institute infographic 'What great scientists did when they weren't doing great science.' (Perimeter Institute)

10 Historic Female Scientists You Should Know 


Family Travel: Ravenwood Castle New Plymouth, Ohio

 Disclosure: A special thank you to Ravenwood Castle for providing a room for our review. As always here at Vintage Indie, all opinions are our own, and have not been purchased. 


Upon arrival, the castle was bustling with guests arriving. This was our first time to stay at a bed and breakfast setting, as well as staying in the castle itself.

Upon checking in and meeting owners Jim and Pam Reed, we were greeted by Inn Keeper Sam. Sam had a great welcoming spirit about her and gave us a quick rundown about
breakfast, our rooms and key procedures for the castle.


Our room was the Queen Elizabeth room. When you open the door, you travel back in time,with emerald green walls, lavish antique furniture and a cozy fireplace. the room and restroom was exceptionally clean. The linens, freshly pressed and the towel fluffed. The queen beed was very comfortable and the blankets and sheets soft.




We were excited to see what new owners Jim and Pam, had done with the castle since our last visit, and decided to leave our room shortly after arriving and went for a stroll with Jim. After
spending some time touring the grounds and Pub with Jim, we could tell that the couple was proud of their new investment and have painstakingly taken the time to make the castle even better than

We opted out of the buffet for dinner, as we have a favorite place to visit when we are in town, however after speaking with some of the guests, they enjoyed the food and stated they would come back in the future for the food and rooms.


The Reeds are expanding the cabins/cottages on the property to make the rentals more family friendly. They've added the Huntsman Hollow which includes new cabins that sleep 4 comfortably, 6 total, if you have children who would enjoy a loft setting.

They've updated the pub and the beer menu was carefully selected to appeal to the tastes of craft beef connoisseurs. My IPA loving husband was thrilled with some of their hard to find selections.

After dinner, we arrived back go to the castle and visited their game selection which is a big part of the fun at the castle. if you are a board game enthusiast, you will love the wide offerings. There are
games like Ticket to ride, Fantasy, card games and our favorite Croakanol. We met another couple, who were visiting from Pittsburg that was also celebrating their wedding anniversary, and stayed up late challenging each other to a team match of our new favorite game.


Our one night stay ended with a delicious breakfast of fresh fruits, juices,hot coffee, corned beef breakfast hash and Linda's famous cinnamon rolls.


We can't wait to return to Ravemwood castle. The Reeds have many plans to make the castle better than ever, including an event/business room for corporate events. As well as remodeling the bar in the Pub and including the addition of a childrens play area.

If you are looking for a unique and quiet stay away, we think you will love the Ravenwood Castle, the hospitality of the delightful staff and the relaxing getaway. Besides, who doesn't love the idea of staying in a castle! If you are looking for an extra special reason to visit, the event pland for the year include, a Father's Day bbq.


Disclosure:  Thank you to Ravenwood Castle for the room in 2014.  As always the content and opinions are my own.

Dairy Free Peanut Butter & Banana Ice Cream

Seriously ya'll is it scorching hot where you are? Here in Northern Kentucky, we completely just dove head first into summer, and technically it isn't even summer! It's supposed to be 88 today. This is the perfect treat to cool yourself down, and you can practically make whatever flavor you want from this dairy free base. We chose to make peanut butter and banana. 

Dairy Free Peanut Butter Banana Ice Cream




2 cans of full fat coconut milk (we love Trader Joe's Organic Coconut Milk it has no gums or added ingredients)

Six frozen bananas

1T Coconut Palm Sugar


Blend this mixture together like a Ninja. (unless you have one of those fancy other guys)

Pour  into your ice cream maker. We have the  Cuisinart ice cream & yogurt maker, we love it, and it is so easy to use.

We added in a some Peanut butter in the end, because you know, more fat.


You can serve it soft serve after the cycle in your ice cream maker is done, or you can freeze it. Keep in mind if you do freeze it, it will become rock hard, and you'll want to set it out for a bit before you dish it up. 


What's your favorite flavor of ice cream? 

Father's Day Weekend 2016: Around Town June 17 - 19th.

This is just a small sample of what's going on around the Northern Kentucky, Greater Cincinnati Area this coming Father's Day weekend. If you know of something fantastic going on, please feel free to add it to the comments. 



Vintage & Antiques: 

Burlington Antique Show 

Show hours: 6am- 3 pm

8am- 3pm $3 each

6am-8am $5 each (Early Bird Buying)

Kids under 12 years free

Free Parking

Show is Rain or Shine!

Sorry, No Pets Please




Goetta Fest 

16th Annual MainStrasse Village “Original” Goettafest

                Sponsored by J.B.’s Barbecue

Friday, June 17, 2016                          5 p.m. until 11:30 p.m.

Saturday, June 18, 2016                      Noon until 11:30 p.m.

Sunday, June 19, 2016                        Noon until 9:00 p.m.


6/18 Slide the City, Cincinnati, OH. Website:  https://www.slidethecity.com/location/cincinnati/

6/18 RoeblingFest presented by Lighting Systems Inc on June 18 2016 Covington,Ky at 3rd and Court Streets

NEW this year at RoeblingFest will be our Historical Presentation series brought to you by BB Riverboats!

Presentations will take place in the Telephone building ($5 per session or $10 for all 3)

2:00 - Dr. Don Heinrich Tolzmann, will discuss John Roebling and his Ohio River Bridge.
3:00pm - Dr. Paul Tenkotte will discuss the local area during the bridge construction: "Regional Epicentre of
the Civil War: Northern Kentucky.”
4:00pm - Richard Sutherland, PE, will discuss the rehab and restoration of the Roebling bridge in the late 20th century.

Check out www.roeblingbridge.org for more details!

Sat, Jun 18 11:00 am to 4:00 pm Airheads 30th Anniversary at Smale Park Website: https://www.facebook.com/events/1728343827405428/


Tusculum-Street-Fest-Revised-3.9.15-05-16/18 2-9 Tusculum Street Fest 2016 Website: http://www.tusculumstreetfest.org/



20160317-concert6/17 - Summer Concert Series Crestview Hills, KY. Website: http://shopcrestviewhillstowncenter.com/events/




O.I.N.K. Ohio, Indiana & Northern Kentucky Homeschool Community!

Hey there! I know, I know it's been ages since I've shown my face around here, but I've been busy. I've been homeschooling a high schooler, middle schooler and a preschooler, and their education has been on top of my priority list. We've also sold  our home that we've known for eleven years, husband had a job change, and we started a homeschool community O.I.N.K. 

OINKSpring2016O.I.N.K. Homeschool Hub is for Ohio, Indiana and Northern Kentucky home school families. My husband (who came up with the name) and I wanted to bridge the gap from Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky creating educational, & family opportunities for everyone. At writing we have 523 families who belong to the community who are making connections with each other every day. We're seeing classes, field trips, family events, community service events, curriculum sales and all kinds of connections being made, and we're making many along the way ourselves. 

I'll be reviving Vintage Indie in the next few weeks, taking it slow, but hope to bring back some of that old school style to you, and also bring you along side me while I educate three kiddos in all three school levels! How exciting is that? I've also created an Instagram account, and I think I may be addicted! I love how much there is to explore and learn on Instagram. Why don't you join me there! I post a lot of recipes, and have started to post some educational goodies as well. 

Enjoy this beautiful Saturday, I'll see you soon!  

xoxo The VI Family.